Bakso (Bahasa Indonesia=meatballs) is the Indonesian most populer soup everyone can buy anywhere at anytime. I am quite sure that almost every Indonesian likes or loves bakso.
Though I can't remember my first hooked-on-bakso moment, I just recall the soupy, peppery, and garlicy bowl of hearty meal. Flavoursome. And there's always different ways to enjoy a bowl of mie bakso. My personal way is enjoying them with rice noodles and lots of fried shallots and finely chopped spring onions with a dash of hot chilli sauce together with sweet soy sauce. Oh, divine!!
Some bakso is also enjoyed with chicken feet stewed in the broth, fried wontons, and even beef fat. Personally, I think it's the way to express one's culinary adventure to something really more than just like, best way to enjoy and will come back again for more. That's what I call 'love'.
Someone who's keen on eating hot chilly sauce will end up puffing and sweating (especially in hot weather!), raced with burning mouth and the satisfaction that comes within. It's what's so called exotic, I suppose. Or is exotic always understood to be whatsoever elegant serving on beautifully crafted vegetables only? Well, perhaps, I'm missing something.
Through my experience, almost every student who's living far away from home claims it to be a favorite. A meal which is hearty, watery, easy-to-get, and not-have-to-DIY (mind you, most of dorms don't usually supply the kitchen-if there's any-with a full pantry together with proper kitchen utensils for students) should not make a student reaches her/his pocket deeper than if they suppose to go to a cafe.
Everyone has her/his own favorite place or vendor that s/he thinks makes the best flavour of all. Nothing personal. Though, every place and every vendor has its/her/his own price, students yet not to think twice. Hey, it's sedaaaaaaaap (Bahasa Indonesia=delicious) kind of messages coming from one bowl of bakso to another making one place or one vendor to be the subject of being liked or disliked. But then, for sure there's many recipes to be found. Just google the word 'bakso', how many posts can you read?
However, there's an advantage. You can make your own bakso!! YAY! One trial and error, ick. Way too soggy. I don't want soggy balls. They'll become meat porridge when I pour hot broth on them! Perhaps, this recipe will do. Aaaahhhh... enaaaaaaaaak (Bahasa Indonesia=delicious, tasty). I think this is the one. But wait, this one looks like much easier than that one. I should try that too. And then, adventures can't reach the end.
Sticking on one recipe can't be worst. It's the measurement which should be correct. I've been in trial and errors whenever I crave for bakso and the balls just don't turn out to be the ones which were twinkling on top of my head. Not THAT one. And, then I followed this recipe. It surely worked, believe it or not. Mine was not as smooth as hers (well, practice makes perfect, you see), but it's close to those which were twinkling on top of my head (they are now popped, meatballs come out of it). The texture is surely close to those I used to taste. There's the description beyond description, I'm sorry to tell you I just can't find the right word of kenyal (Bahasa Indonesia=?) in English. I just enjoyed every one of them. EVERY one of them. Thank you, Mbak Litha!
I never make bakso for a large crowd and I have to do the math to half or quarter the recipe Mbak Litha shared with us. Indonesian and Malaysian friends can go this way to read and perhaps try her recipe. Enak tenaaaaaaaaaannn!!
Source: Estherlita's Site - Baso Sapi
2kg beef mince, 50g fried shallots, 40 garlic cloves, 40g fried garlic, 50g salt, 40g sugar, 15g pepper, 20g vitsin (a kind of MSG. I used beef stock powder), optional, 200g tapioca flour, 4 eggs, 2 Tbs baking powder
2000cc + 2 sachets of instant beef powder or fresh beef stock (bones inserted to get a good flavour) plus a pinch of salt
Process (or grind with mortar and pestle) fried shallots, garlic cloves, and fried garlic together with salt, sugar and vitsin until smooth (that'll make a paste). Mix this paste to another bowl together with eggs and cold mince (if it's frozen, thaw them in the fridge until soft). Mix well.
Divide the mince mixture into several portions and pulse each portion until smooth (Mbak Litha: don't process too long, otherwise it won't give smooth texture). Tip this mixture into a bowl and add in tapioca and baking powder. Mix well.
Divide the mixture into several portions again, then pulse each portion until smooth. Set aside and keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
Roll the mixture with your pointer and your thumb, scoop it out with a spoon, then put it into a pan of hot water which is almost boiling, on a medium heat. Wait until the meatballs are floating on the surface of the water, then with slotted spoon, remove and set aside. (I freeze them until further used).Worth reading sites of Bakso: